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Roosterhead made their local splash last year via shows and their debut EP, so it's good to see the Huntington Beach duo kick start the new year with a stand-alone single, available this week via iTunes and Amazon. "Yo (What's Up?)" is a perfect title for a song from Shawn Her Many Horses and Luke Johnson. They've become as well-known for their day-glo-driven live shows as their music, so having a phrase that seems tailor-made for an MTV show from 1988 couldn't be more appropriate.
A little more surprising is the song itself--but then the title makes even more sense in context, in that it's almost their take on first-generation "these Beastie Boys dudes are kinda cool" rock-&-roll responses to hip-hop. Almost, but not exactly--there's a definite swagger in the verses and the chunky stutter of the main riff and rhythm, with Shawn and Luke trading lines as they go. However, the breezy sing-along of the chorus is perfectly SoCal casual in a way that begs to be heard at a beach-volleyball tournament.
There's even a slowed-down classic rock stomp of a coda--not quite "Layla," say, but enough of a "wait, I didn't expect that" move that does exactly what any good performance should do: make you wonder what will be coming next.
You can check out the music here
and the song below: